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Inbox: He was the best of us 

Bart Starr was everything a human being should aspire to be

Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr
Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr

Travis from Stoughton, WI

Let's start with a moment of silence for the passing of Bart Starr...What's your fondest memory of Starr.

Starr was a Hall of Fame quarterback and a legendary leader, but that's only a small part of his lasting legacy. What I'll remember most is his humility and how Starr truly walked the walk. Starr's huge heart and extensive humanitarian efforts were his true gift, not football. Talent fades, athleticism deteriorates and what made a player great on the field doesn't ensure success in life. Starr and his wife, Cherry, made a positive impact on thousands of lives long after his time with the Packers ended. He was the best of us and epitomized everything a human being should aspire to be. With that in mind, we're altering the format for today's Insider Inbox to celebrate the extraordinary life of Bart Starr with all of your stories. Good morning!

David from Gainesville, VA

If ever there was someone that personified the Green Bay Packers, it is Bart Starr. Not only was he an outstanding player, but also an even greater person in every way. Bart was truly a legend, hero and all-around great person. He will be greatly missed by many. I only wish I could have met this tremendous man in-person. My heart goes out to Bart's family on this sad day. He'll live on forever through the Packers, an organization that he helped make truly legendary!

Linda from Pleasant Prairie, WI

I had the honor of having dinner with Bart Starr after he participated in a golf outing with the company my husband worked for at the time. Rather than tell stories of his football days, he wanted to hear stories about the people at the table. Our son was 2 at the time and he took down our address, and sent my son an aspiring letter about life along with autographed football. The letter is framed and still hangs in his room. Rest in peace, Bart Starr. Your kindness and gentleness will be missed.

Jonathan from Las Vegas, NV

The Inbox will be flooded with Bart Starr, and rightfully so. I just wanted someone up there at 1265 to know that watching Bart Starr win the Ice Bowl on video cassette as an 8-year-old with my dad is the reason I am a Packer fan. Memories make us rich.

Carl from Richmond, VA

When Mr. Starr was the head coach of the Packers and things were not going particularly well, my great-grandmother, who was in her 90s at the time, wrote him a note to remain positive. Mr. Starr responded with a hand-written letter thanking her for her support. No one, in sports or other pursuits, exemplified how to be a gentleman more than Bart Starr.

Susan from Inman, SC

Like many other Packers fans, I am mourning the loss of my hero and the reason I am a football fan today. I was a young teenager when I read an article in a Guidepost magazine about Bart Starr and immediately formed a "crush" on the man, then watched my first football game and was in awe of the player. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Starr family and the Packers family who have lost the epitome of a gentleman and a Green Bay Packer. RIP

Ken from New York, NY

Watching those videos over and over and over again reminded me, yet again, of how lucky we are to have had Bart Starr play for the Packers.

Marc from Califon, NJ

I met Bart Starr at the Packers' HOF golf outing held on Sept. 10, 2001. I left early to catch a flight to Philly and I almost walked into him in the parking lot. I asked to take a picture of us together. Here was the problem: there was no one within 80 yards of us. He spotted a greens keeper and said lets walk down to him, and he can take our picture. Wow, gracious and quality human being. I was so excited to share my story/picture, but I never did because of 9/11 - our picture is my cherished memory.

John from Casablanca, Morocco

WOW! It has been an emotional journey through memory lane for me today reading and remembering events from Bart Starr's life. I have been enriched by the memories of Bart. As I read the story on NFL Network about Bart's playoff record, I remembered Vic's comments about what matters is what you do in "crunch time." Bart Starr was surely was THE BEST QB at crunch time. Thanks for the memories!

A look back at the life and career of former Packers QB and Head Coach Bart Starr

Josh from Nicholasville, KY

When I was 12 years old, my family and I were on our way back from one of our few summer vacations. We were about an hour away from our home in Central Alabama and stopped for ice cream. As we were waiting, my dad leaned down to me and pointed to an old man walking out the door and said "that's Bart Starr." I ran after him and asked him to sign a piece of paper, but he wouldn't have it. He got my name and address and sent my dad and I autographed photos. He was a class act.

Kevin from Wauwatosa, WI

My wife and I were invited to a fundraiser in Indianapolis and Bart Starr was the keynote speaker. Mr. Starr had a meet-and-greet at the VIP reception. The people running the event knew we were Packers' fans, so they snuck us in. We got a picture with him, he wanted to sign something, but all I had was a cocktail napkin. He scoffed, told us to write down our address. Six months later in the mail was autographed photo, and note apologizing for delay – the cocktail napkin fell behind his desk. Unbelievable.

Jeff from Cedarburg, WI

When Bart Starr became head coach in 1975, I was working at my UW-Milwaukee campus radio station, WUWM-FM. I decided to call my lifetime hero and talked to his secretary about my interest in interviewing him. I had around 10 questions ready if he accepted, which he so graciously did. I never met him in my life. He was told my first name by his assistant. During the interview, he answered my questions beginning with: "Jeff." Never met me, yet treated me like I was special. A college student!

Charlie from Mount Joy, PA

Sorry to hear of the passing of one of my heroes, Bart Starr. I wrote to him when I was in high school in the 60s and he sent back a beautiful letter along with an autographed photo. I still have both. Bart Starr was the personification of humility, decency and leadership. He was a true role model and phenomenal representative of the Green Bay Packers. My condolences to his family and all my fellow Packers fans. Coach Lombardi has been reunited with his quarterback. Rest in peace No. 15.

Tom from Clermont, FL

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Bart Starr. He was a hero of mine growing up in Wisconsin in the 60s. I once sent him a letter, telling of a group of neighborhood kids I played sandlot football with. He responded with autographed photos for each kid, personalized with their names. Mine hangs on the wall in my home office. It made a huge impression on me, and although I was never fortunate enough to meet him, he left me with enduring affection for the man.

Scott from Martinez, GA

All I have to say is how fortunate we were that Starr, Favre, and Rodgers were able to unite and share the field at Lambeau. One of my most priceless Packers memorabilia is the photo taken off them. The three championship quarterbacks pictured together will be a prize possession for countless years to come. Here's to one of the greats. RIP No. 15!

Gayle from Dallas, TX

Sometime between 1968 and 1971, when my dad was a Boy Scout district executive in the Southern Wisconsin area, he was trying to get a top-notch speaker for an event honoring boys who had earned their Eagle Scout. He somehow got Ray Nitschke's number. Ray agreed to do it and said "Can I bring a friend with me?" The night of the event Ray stepped off the elevator and his friend shook my dad's hand, saying "Hi, I'm Bart Starr." And proceeded to deliver a wonderful message to some very lucky Boy Scouts.

Joshua from Appleton, WI

So rare is a person of Starr's character and class. He will be greatly missed.

Todd from Brighton, MI

My uncle, a HS football coach, was able to be with the Packers coaches for a day back in 1979. He told Bart Starr that he had a 13-year-old nephew that was a huge Packer fan. Later that summer, my family came to Green Bay. I got to personally meet Bart Starr in the lobby of old stadium area. He put his arm around me and asked me a few questions. I got an amazing tour of the facilities, and locker room and scouting area by Bob Harlan. Still one of the most memorable events in my life. Very different times.

Rich from Southampton, UK

I started watching the NFL in 1982. I chose the Packers after their 35-23 comeback win over the Rams was shown on UK TV. I had no knowledge of Bart Starr as a player; just as a coach. That I and many others have learned so much about him and his place in NFL history, even though we've never seen him play, speaks to his stature as a person. How many have seen their reputation grow so much after they stopped playing? To me and countless others, he personified the Packers. RIP Bart.

Glenn from Lapel, IN

He was more than just a football guy. He was a great man. My oldest boy wore out the 50 cent paperback he read it so many times.

Eric from St. Jacob, IL

My heartfelt condolences to the Starr family. He was a great man, and a great quarterback. In the early '70s, at Pink Panther Ski Hill for my brother's birthday, Bart came off the top of the tow rope, headed towards the top of the hill, and promptly ran right over the top of me. But he caught me and kind of laid me down in the snow, then immediately came around to make sure I was OK. Boy, was I ever OK, getting to talk to the quarterback and the coach. A great memory of a Wisconsin childhood!

Tom from Pine River, WI

I hope Bart's years as the Packers' head coach won't be overlooked. The team may not have won many big games, but when they did, he made a point to bring his players back on the field to thank the fans. That's rare. God bless Bart Starr and his family.

Rod from Middletown, NJ

Dear Insiders, I know you will have a million Packer fans writing in about Bart Starr. To me, he will always be the greatest of Green Bay's quarterbacks. I saw him play live in the Lombardi era and I had the chance to meet him in 2010. He was amazingly gracious and accommodating to help me get a photo. A true gentleman that I will always appreciate the time he spent with me. Thank you Bart!

Frank from Baton Rouge, LA

My dad was XO of the USS America carrier and he gave a tour ('70) to Bart when he was in the Virgin Islands. My dad mentioned I was a big fan, so of course I was sent an autograph. Then in 1972, on a whim, I sent him a letter saying I lived close to D.C. and would love to see the playoff game against Washington. The morning of the game, our phone rings, Bart Starr had gotten our number, called and talked to me and had tickets for us. I will forever cherish his kindness. My childhood hero...RIP sir.

Jason from Des Plaines, IL

I woke up to some unsettling news Sunday of Bart Starr's passing. Being only 22 years old, I did not have the pleasure of watching his historic legacy open the doors for many more packers to come. Thankfully, I do have one memory of him that I will remember for the rest of my life. Witnessing Bart Starr roll out on to Lambeau Field and receiving a helping hand and a hug from another legend, Brett Favre. It's moments like these that give me chills to this day. Thanks Bart. Gone but never forgotten.

Guilherme from Lins, Brazil

I just want to say that if the NFL had a person figure in its logo, like the NBA and the MLB, it should be Bart Starr. He personified what is like to be a Packer and how you should play the game. Five NFL championships, the first 2 Super Bowl victories and MVPs, one of the greatest and most iconic plays ever, leadership on and off the field, from the 200th pick in the 17th round to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the list goes on and on...Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

Jack from Raynham, MA

Not a question, just a huge thank you to Mr. Starr - Mr. Starr was my father's hero as a kid during the 60s. Mr. Starr was doing a card show 15 years ago in Massachusetts, and my father and I had the privilege of meeting him. What stuck out more than anything, Mr. Starr took his time to take pictures and engaged in conversations with everyone. It made my father's day and probably his year. That photo still hangs in my office. Thank you Mr. Starr, and may you rest in peace.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Bart Starr - I have yet to read a negative word about him. He seems the epitome of a Southern Gentleman and as truly kind-hearted as a human can be. The world lost an absolutely wonderful human being. He can rest in peace knowing he will be remembered as a good man.

Paul from Chicago, IL

Normally our chant here in Chicago is Bear Down, today out of respect it is "Packer Down". Rest in peace Bart.

Doug from Eugene, OR

Good morning gentlemen, I'd like to make the case the Bart Starr was the best value pick in the history of the draft. From the 200th pick in the 17th round to the greatest postseason winning percentage in history. I rest my case - is it strong? (Very)

Fran from Green Bay, WI

Thanks Cliff, Mike, Wes, and all the people that helped with the GREAT Starr memories. Will they find a Bart Starr in the universe? I will look tonight. Oh, the Bart Starr will be next to the big dipper.

Craig from Green Bay, WI

Do you think they play football in heaven? If they do, Vince Lombardi just got his quarterback.